Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
Gird your waist with truth and do this through waiting on God with great hope.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth… (Ephesians 6:11, 13-14, NKJV, emphasis added)
If you have not noticed, we are in the midst of a battle. It is a spiritual battle engaged against spiritual beings (Ephesians 6:12). Paul instructs us in the putting on the armor, piece by piece, so that we can stand firm in our walk and battle the Enemy of our souls. Two things stand out to me in this passage (sorry for the pun): standing and the belt of truth (girded your waist) on which the rest of the armor would fall out of place or without the soldier would fall on his face. Keep these important phrases in prayer as you meditate on this passage through waiting on God.
Put on the whole armor of God/Therefore take up the whole armor of God. Put on in the Greek is to envelop in, to hide in, and to clothe with and the whole armor is literally all the protective gear and weapons. In classical Greek it would mean all the armor of a heavy-armed soldier. Every piece of the armor is to be put on, none are to be neglected. Of God in the Greek shows the source of the armor is from God Himself and is not earthly armor. The armor is both divine and complete and to go without any piece is to leave an opening for the enemy to bring you down to defeat. In Paul’s day the image would be of a Roman soldier, the military power of the world in that day. Kenneth Wuest in Ephesians and Colossians in the Greek New Testament adds the following concerning the taking up the whole armor:
“The verb is aorist imperative, which construction issues a command given with military snap and curtness, a command to be obeyed at once and once for all. Thus, the Christian is to take up and put on all the armor of God as a once-for-all act and keep that armor on during the entire course of his life, not relaxing the discipline necessary for the constant use of such protection. The historian Gibbon, relates how the relaxation of discipline and the disuse of exercise rendered soldiers less willing and less able to support the fatigue of service.”
That you will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. In the Greek stand is to hold fast against the enemy, or to hold your ground. Battle is about position, holding, and taking land. The Christian soldier should not be in retreat, but here it is emphasized to holding ground. Wiles in the Greek are cunning arts, deceit, craft, and trickery. Wiles are the strategy of the devil. God knows the strategy of the devil and has equipped us to hold the ground gained in developing Christian character and not being defeated by the enemy.
That you may be able to withstand in the evil day. Withstand in the Greek is to stand against, resist, oppose. To withstand used here, is to stand against the devil and not be defeated. The evil day is in reference to a serious attack from the enemy which will surely come upon every disciple in life. It will come, but God has equipped us with His armor so we will not be defeated.
And having all, to stand. Understand as the whole armor of God is put on there is nothing protecting the back of the soldier. Because there is no protection of the vital organs behind him the importance of standing firm and not retreating for the soldier is paramount. Retreat would open up the vital organs to the enemy. In this battle the goal is not to be defeated, to hold our ground. We are not called to be battling Satan to take ground, but to hold the ground already given to us by God and not be defeated. Stand firm.
Stand therefore having girded your waist with truth. We start now with the armor to be put on and the command is first to stand. We are not running into battle and we are not retreating from it. The belt is the first thing to put on because it holds the garments up so the soldier does not trip on them. With the garments girded the soldier has the ability to move within the military lines being used by his commander. The belt was the essential piece of equipment for without it the soldier could not put on his breastplate, put on his sword, or move about unencumbered. The Christian’s responsibility is to gird himself with truth. The Truth we have been led to is the truth we put on. Truthfulness is then the essential character trait of the disciple in his relation to God, fellow believers, and the world around him. We are led to truth through waiting and we apply the truth to our lives through submission, in all honesty and truthfulness, to the Spirit of truth.